On our trip to Florida, we spent a lot of time at the beach, gazing out at the Gulf. There’s nothing more relaxing in my mind than staring endlessly at big bodies of water with waves lapping the shore. Except I would get board if the only thing to look at were the water itself. A little more activity, although nothing with plot, is necessary for me. On the west coast, that was often surfers, bobbing up and down, occasionally riding a wave in before paddling back out to bob up and down again. In Florida, it was the birds I watched.
There were the sandpipers and plovers, darting in and out of the water with their heads down and beaks reaching into the sand. There were the gulls and terns diving down into the water for little fish. There were the pelicans, mostly floating like driftwood, or surfers, bobbing up and down, although occasionally taking off and gliding low over the water like catamarans, or plummeting down to catch bigger fish, which would bring over the gulls to cry out for scraps.
I don’t know much about shore birds because we’re not around them often enough for me to get very attached. Something about living in the landlocked Midwest, and in Iowa, no less, which doesn’t even have a Great Lake. But we’re not totally without shore birds.
We’ve got killdeer, which are actually a kind of plover, and don’t seem to care much if there’s water anywhere nearby. They drive K nuts in the spring when she goes out for her morning runs. You see, if a killdeer think you’re too close to its nest, it will fake an injury and try to get you to follow it away from its precious young. Great idea if you’re something that would like to eat a killdeer nestling or injured adult. Not so great idea when your a runner that would just like to get past. None the less, she painted one (the one above). Find it in our Etsy shop here.